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5 min read

While everyday employee recognition is crucial to building a culture of continuous recognition, it’s worth taking a moment at the end of the year to reflect on employees’ top recognition moments. A lot can happen in a year, so taking the time to appreciate how every employee works together toward a larger goal is key to improving employee engagement.

We asked some RGers from our global offices what their favourite recognition moments were in 2018:

1. Emily Stites, Employee Engagement Specialist, Boston, MA

I was having one of those weeks that seemed to drag on a bit and I was hitting a wall. Then, I connected with a woman who gave me many objections at first but eventually, I was able to get her to open up and I believe we can help her organisation with new ideas for recognition.

Gene, my manager, sent me a really nice eCard right after I got off the phone and it gave me a huge boost of energy and a renewed sense of purpose and what my “why” is for coming into work every day. I felt like I made a difference by not only making my team proud, but also by helping to add to our mission and make the world a better place to work.

Emily Stites-employee-recognition

2. Rebecca Bryant, Employee Engagement Specialist, Sydney, AU

Two moments of recognition stand out for me. The first one was an eCard from our Director of Consultancy, thanking me for some of the videos I had created for our clients. Her feedback was really specific and it meant she’d taken the time to watch what I’d put together.

This had such a positive effect on my self-confidence.

This is such a huge part of my role and to know that I'm being recognised by others and that I have done a good job is a great motivator. I was really nervous and doubting my ability at times when it came to this part of my role, this recognition moment really reinforced that I was on the right track and that I could contribute great work and make an impact in my organisation.

The second moment was receiving a brief but encouraging message from my manager where she gave me feedback. I was pretty new to the company and still had nerves around whether I was going to be able to do my job and do it well. Knowing that my manager has confidence in my abilities and being recognised for this was really the moment that I knew I could do this job and do it well.


Here's an example of our values-based, peer-to-peer eCards that employees can send to one another at any time.

3. George Dixon, Senior Employee Engagement Consultant, Boston, MA

My recognition “moment” is a little different – instead I let multiple monetary rewards build up over time (a combination from Dom Taylor, Gyan Tayal, Ren Patel, Alex Griffiths and Doug Butler), until I could finally buy a Titleist Golf Travel Bag, which led to this happy face!


4. Ted Hewett, Employee Engagement Specialist, London, UK

Just before Christmas 2017 I spent a week in our Boston office – it was awesome! While I was there, my girlfriend asked me if I could pop into a Target to pick up a particular brand of hair product that is only sold there. I agreed, it seemed like a simple challenge: Pop into a shop and buy something. Easy.

However, there wasn't a Target anywhere near the office, and there was a fair bit of snow so getting around was a bit of a pain. I never found one, but while I was there I asked a few of the folks in the office if they could help me. I flew home without the goods – and almost completely forgot about it.

This is where the hero of the hour, Doug Butler, steps in. He caught wind of this challenge I'd had, and has been working tirelessly since then to hook me up (alongside being CEO of Reward Gateway that is). This morning, he walked into the office and a set of the exact thing I was looking for by my computer, delivered by his family as they flew into the UK the other day.

It's a really little thing but it made mine (and my girlfriend’s) week... AND IT WAS ONLY A MONDAY! Further, it's made me want to to do the same for others and I always try and delight everyone I come across, but I feel like now it's time to really double down on putting out good karma into the world.

5. Vesi Ilieva, Implementation Specialist, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

A colleague from the UK CSM team and I were working on a pretty challenging project. It turned out that both of us thought of thanking the other by sending some chocolates! Due to delivery times and people coming to Bulgaria or travelling to the UK, we both received it within a few days of each other and found out we had the same idea.

It was loads of fun, but at the same time, it felt absolutely amazing to know how thankful and thoughtful we could be for appreciating each other’s help and working as a team.

Overall, it made me realize that distance doesn't matter for recognition.


6. Alex Powell, Director of U.S. Client Services, Rochester, NY

In January of last year, when we were still Brand Integrity, a cross-functional group called The Feature Release team had its first official "in action" meeting. This group included Erin D, Matt D, Emily and Lauren from Rochester and was created in response to a series of awkward events that sometimes happens after a big acquisition and merger. This team of four was already really busy, but were motivated by a desire to increase communication and quality.

The cross-functional nature of the team ensured that the natural “us vs. them” that sometimes arises between “tech-facing” and “client-facing” teams was removed. At the time Erin said about their first meeting, “It was awesome and should improve how efficiently we bring new features to market and lower the internal stress and confusion. Great cross functional teamwork!!!”

At the time, I was impressed by the personal commitment all four of the team brought to their (extra) work and was grateful to know that clients and the team would have less surprises because of their efforts. Those efforts increased my confidence that what I was saying to clients was accurate and they made it easier to brag about our tech! I continue to be proud to work with people that see a problem impacting others and look for smart, efficient ways to fix it.


7. Bogdana Popova, Client Relationship Manager, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

I was working with a client who was up for a renewal, and it was a challenging project. I wasn't sure I'd be able to salvage it. The main point of contact was very tricky. After really hard work, lots of conversations, emails, plans and strategies, the client decided to not only stay with RG, but we also made an upsell. I could not believe my eyes!

What made me really happy and proud were the two awards I received from my senior, Nina, and my team manager, Tanya. Before coming to RG I did not know what recognition actually meant and what Nina and Tanya did made me feel amazing. They acknowledged the fact this client was a real challenge and praised me for all the efforts and good work I did. The message they had put on the awards made me feel incredible!

Now that you've read these stories, are there some moments that come to mind from your own organisation? Reflecting on what you – and your people – have achieved this year and shining a spotlight on a few key moments that were recognised shows our employees how everyone's contribution helps make the business stronger and help us continue to grow.

This year, take a moment to reflect on your favourite moments of recognition – and ask your employees. Do you have a favourite recognition story? Share in the comments section below or reach out to me on LinkedIn.
Joy Adan

Joy spearheads RG's research about employee experience and engagement, and as our resident presenter, loves to inspire and challenge people to think critically about how to improve the way we work together. Joy’s passion for creative and inclusive storytelling, combined with experience in change management and corporate communications has allowed her to partner with global organisations to improve connection, culture and community in the world of work for over 15 years.

Senior Thought Leadership Manager

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